|Competitions held||15 (Venues)|
|IF||Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique|
Rhythmic Gymnastics is a discipline of gymnastics, together with artistic (regular) gymnastics and trampolining. It evolved from the mass gymnastics popular in Europe in the late 19th and early 20th century, combined with muisc and elements from dance. As a sport, it first emerged in the Soviet Union, where the first championships were held in 1948. The Fédération Internationale de Gymnastics (FIG) recgonized it as a discipline in 1961, with the first World Championships being held in 1963. The sport has five different apparatuses, or more correctly, attributes: rope, hoop, ball, ribbon and, previously, clubs. There is also an all-around competition, in which the results of the four apparatuses are combined. In group competitions, teams consist of five members, with two events: 1) five hoops and 2) three ribbons plus two ropes. Only women are allowed to participate in rhythmic gymnastics internationally, although men do compete in some countries, notably Japan.
The sport was approved for the Olympics in 1980. However, in 1952 and 1956 a very similar event was part of the women’s gymnastics program: the team event with portable apparatus. In that event, teams were allowed to pick an attribute of their choice, such as balls, hoops or clubs. When rhythmic gymnastics made its Olympic début in Los Angeles 1984, the competition suffered from the Soviet boycott, as that country and its successor nations have dominated the sport since the beginning. This has also been the case at the Olympics, with Russia being the only country to have won more than one gold medal in the sport, and Spain and Canada the only nations outside the former USSR to have won a gold medal. Only two events are held at the Olympic Games, the individual all-around event (since 1984) and the group all-around event, held since 1996. Only three women, all Russian, have managed to win more than one gold medal: Nataliya Lavrova (2000-04) and Yelena Posevina (2004-08) both doubled in the group competition, while Yevgeniya Kanayeva won two individual titles (2008-12).
|People's Republic of China||CHN||0||1||0||1|
|Oleksandra Tymoshenko|| URS
|Name||Gender||Still contested?||Times held?|